It was a last round of the club championship and the result was very important. I got an opponent rated ~1200, but he played really well in this tournament, losing only to expert and master and winning 4 games including beating ~1650 and ~1750 rated. I have to admit that it made me a bit nervous. I got White and we played French Tarrasch with 3… c5.

I knew that I had to play 6. Bb5, but didn’t know how to react to 6… Qb6 (Qe2+ is a good reply), so played 6. dxc5.  I had a feeling that I did’t get any advantage in the opening. I spent some time after his 11…Ng6 thinking what if he plays f5, but then found Bd3. After his 20… h6 I saw 21. Ne6+, but realized that he doesn’t have to take the knight. Then after exchanges the position simplified. I allowed exchange on e3 and intentionally played fxe3 to keep the position not too symmetrical. Right after that I created a passed “e” pawn thinking that it can give me some practical chances. According to Fritz the position was equal.

After 37. Qc7 a critical position occurred. The only line that was OK for Black was 37… Qe1+ 38. Kh2 f6, but it looks like not easy to find. He instead made a brutal mistake playing Qb5. I probably wouldn’t play it just from the positional point of view, trying to keep diagonal “h2-b8” under control. The funny thing is I didn’t see the winning line right away and played Qd8+, then realizing it doesn’t give me anything moved back to c7. He gave me a second chance and suddenly I saw a threat – d6 and Qc8+. His best reply could be 40… Qc6, still  losing after 41. Qe7+ Kg8 42. Qd8+ Kh7 43. Qc7 and “e” pawn queens.

He played 40. Qe5 and resigned after Qc8+. I finished with the result 5.5/8 (+5,-2,=1), best in 6 year that I participated in the club championships.